Maryland Science Center
Opened Summer 2002
When MSC expanded its popular Kids Room from 800 to 4,000 square feet, it made the commitment to break new ground in providing meaningful interpretation for parents and caregivers. We were asked to develop and design an environment that would welcome and engage the museum’s youngest visitors and give adults a new perspective on the role of play in early learners’ first encounters with science.
Experiences in the spacious gallery are inspired by science and many of the activities feature content that connects children with iconic Baltimore places and people. For example, there is role-playing on an Inner Harbor fireboat, exploring the ocean floor via submarine, and catching fish off a waterfront dock.
Playful takes on hometown heroes—you can even shake a bronze cast of Cal Ripken’s hand!—and Baltimore’s classic row houses give the gallery local color.
The intrinsic appeal of experimenting with water engages children in a flow experience, while adults take advantage of comfortable seating and custom-designed computer software offering insight into the role of play in early childhood learning.
Close observation, puzzles and projects young scientists can make and take home are the hallmark of the nature area. A ‘fish cam’ in the aquarium transmits video to a screen in a play area themed like a submarine.
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Can you make your ball ring this bell?
‘Try This’ challenges are scattered throughout the room with older siblings in mind.
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